Pine Seedling turning brown

Asked February 8, 2019, 11:17 AM EST


I planted a small pine tree seedling at the start of October. I could see some growth until winter. Now at the start of February, all of the needles are brown. Is my tree dead or is it just going through dormancy? How can I help it grow if it is still alive?


Andrei Skelly

Ottawa County Michigan

1 Response

The brown needles are not a good sign. A healthy dormant pine should not shed it's needles. To check viability of the seedling you could give it a gentle tug upward at the base. If it seems well anchored, try scraping away a little of the outer layer of the stem with your fingernail. If your see green, it still has a chance. Check that you have good drainage (in soil or container). Water is needed but too much can be deadly. If outside, cold dry winds can desiccate the plant. Salt and salt spray can also hurt the plant. Please let us know if you have additional questions.

I hope this is helpful,